HAVE A HAPPY & BLESSED EASTER AND PASSOVER! Vol. 34, No.13 -FREEwww.advocatenews.net Free Every Friday Iftar Community Dinner raises $3K for Susan B. Anthony Middle School 781-286-8500 Friday, March 29, 2024 Overlook Ridge developers seek zoning ordinance change to nullify hotel agreement Developers hope to replace hotel with small retail store and affordable housing By Barbara Taormina T he decades-long project of turning the former Rowe’s An iftar community dinner raised approximately $2,800 for the Susan B. Anthony Middle School last Thursday night. Iftar, also known as futoor (the Arabic word for breakfast), is a meal held daily during the Muslim holiday Ramadan at sunset. Fasting is one of the main pillars of Ramadan, and those observing the holiday do not consume any food or drink between sunrise and sunset. Shown from left to right: Mayor Patrick Keefe, emcee Nabila Ezzaouy, Ward 5 Councillor Angela Guarino-Sawaya, Sarra Hajjaj, Language Access Specialist Asmaa Abou Fouda and former City Council candidate Alexander Rhalimi. See pages 14-15 for photo highlights. (Advocate photo by Tara Vocino) On the right track: Revere boys take success to national level By Dom Nicastro T he Revere High School boys indoor track team captains didn’t sit idle once their dual meet season ended for the winter. There were state successes and even some trips to the national high school indoor track championships. We caught up with some of the captains on their successful season: JV Cunha: second in state and scouting for scholarships JV Cunha, a senior, ran middistance events: 400, 600, 800. He said his top accomplishment this year was placing second in the 600-meter dash at the Massachusetts All-State Meet. “It was a very hyped-up meet that I had been preparing myself for a very long time,” Cunha said. “Although I would have loved to come out with the win, I was very happy with my performance. I improved my personal best and moved up to No. 24 fastest high schooler in the United States.” Quarry into Overlook Ridge, a huge residential development on the Revere-Malden-Saugus border, is nearly complete. But this week, a representative of Veris Residential, one of the three owners of Overlook, was at the City Council meeting for a public hearing on their request for a change to the zoning ordinance that created the Overlook Ridge Overlay District. Veris is asking to remove a requirement that developers build a hotel on a parcel next to the Malden-Revere co-op fi re station on Overlook Drive, a hotel promised to the late City Councillor George Colella back in 2008 when Revere’s portion of the development only allowed for residential. Instead, Veris wants a green light for retail establishments that would meet the needs and demands of the 4,000 residents in the complex. Removing the hotel requirement also allows Veris to move forward with a plan to build a fi - nal apartment building – adding 310 more units to Overlook. According to Veris, the new building is smaller and less dense than the 370-unit, eight-story building allowed by right. And Veris has agreed to make 15 percent of the new units aff ordable. City Planner Tom Skwierawski supported the requested change. “The changes presented are reasonable,” Skwierawski told the council. “There’s a reduced need for a hotel at this location, and a real need for neighborhood retail.” Skwierawski also applauded the plan to off er 15 percent of the new units at aff ordable rates. “That’s the most aggressive for aff ordable housing we’ve seen from a private sector partner that isn’t being subsidized by federal or state funding,” he said. Although Overlook has made and broken promises in the past HOTEL | SEE Page 21 City Council on board with proposed townhouses at Sons of Italy site By Barbara Taormina A Revere’s Isaiah DeCrosta (middle) hurdling during recent Nationals. The main focus of his training for all these big meets was recovery. He didn’t care about last year, a season in which he felt short of expectations. “I went into this season with the strict thought of having the best recovery possible for every race,” Cunha said. “I made the decision to race less and increased the inSPORT | SEE Page 17 plan to raze the Sons of Italy building at 8 Revere St. and replace it with a development of nine townhouses was fl ooded with praise by the City Council during a public hearing this week. The project will increase the green space from 700 to 7,000 square feet. The townhouses will be market rate condos, but they will off er a more affordable opportunity for home ownership to many Revere residents. The developers are looking for variances for the front yard setback and the number of stories and a special permit from the City Council. The parking-compliant development will be three stories but only two and a half stories are allowed by right. “We are not going to get another project like this. Instead of 30 units, we’re getting nine two-bedrooms, two bathrooms, two parking spots townhouses,” said City Council President AnBUILDING | SEE Page 21

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